The Calvary Family of Churches was formed in 2015 as Calvary Englewood was in the beginning stages of planting churches around the Denver area. As the pastors and planters were meeting together and strategizing for the multiplication of churches in the Denver Metro area, God led them to form this organization. As they reviewed church planting history, as well as looked closely at the amount of finances, human resources, time and other contributions they were giving towards supporting a church plant, they realized the need for a new way to support these new church plants. At the same time, there are many churches in decline, asking for healthy churches to come alongside them to assist them in revitalization efforts, so the pastors began to pray and talk about what it would look like to come alongside to help them.
The Calvary Family of Churches stands in the tradition of historic evangelical confessionalism. We are aligned with the Southern Baptist Convention and Acts 29 (church planting network). The following five distinctive theological convictions serve as foundations for who we are as an organization and how we seek to carry out our mission and vision through our member churches.
1. We are passionate about Gospel centrality.
- We believe the Gospel is the good news of what God has graciously accomplished for sinners through the sinless life, sacrificial death, and bodily resurrection of His Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ, namely our forgiveness from sin and complete justification before God; this Gospel is also the foundation for our confidence in the ultimate triumph of God’s kingdom, and the consummation of His purpose for all creation in the new heavens and new earth.
- This Gospel is centered in Christ, is the foundation for the life of the Church, and is our only hope for eternal life; this Gospel is not proclaimed if Christ’s penal substitutionary death and bodily resurrection are not central to our message.
This Gospel is not only the means by which people are saved, but also the truth and power by which people are sanctified; it is the truth of the Gospel that enables us to genuinely and joyfully do what is pleasing to God and to grow in progressive conformity to the image of Christ.
- The salvation offered in this Gospel message is received by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone; no ordinance, ritual, work, or any other activity on the part of man is required in order to be saved.
- (Mark 1:1; Luke 24:46-47; John 3:16-18; Romans 1:16-17; Romans 1:18-25; 1 Corinthians 1:18-25; 2:2; 15:1-4; 2 Corinthians 4:1-6; 9:13; Galatians 1:6-9; Ephesians 1: 7-10; Colossians 1: 19-20; 2 Timothy 1:8-14; 2 Peter 3: 11-13 Jude 3-4; Revelation 21-22)
2. We enthusiastically embrace the sovereignty of God’s grace in saving sinners.
- We affirm that God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world, not on the basis of foreseen faith but unconditionally, according to His sovereign good pleasure and will.
- We believe that through the work of the Holy Spirit, God will draw the elect to faith in His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, graciously and effectually overcoming their stubborn resistance to the gospel so that they will most assuredly and willingly believe.
- We also believe that these, the elect of God whom He gave to the Son, will persevere in belief and godly behavior and be kept secure in their salvation by grace through faith.
- We believe that God’s sovereignty in this salvation neither diminishes the responsibility of people to believe in Christ nor marginalizes the necessity and power of prayer and evangelism, but rather reinforces and establishes them as the ordained means by which God accomplishes His ordained ends.
- (John 1:12-13; 6:37-44; 10:25-30; Acts 13:48; 16:30-31; Romans 3-4; 8:1-17,31-39; 9:1-23; 10:8-10; Ephesians 1:4-5; 2:8-10; Philippians 2:12-13; Titus 3:3-7; 1 John 1:7,9)
3. We recognize and rest upon the necessity of the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit for all of life and ministry.
- The Holy Spirit is fully God, equal with the Father and Son, whose primary ministry is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ; He also convicts unbelievers of their need for Christ and imparts spiritual life through regeneration (the new birth).
- The Spirit permanently indwells, graciously sanctifies, lovingly leads, and empowers all who are brought to faith in Christ so that they might live in obedience to the inerrant Scriptures.
- The model for our reliance upon the Spirit and our experience of his indwelling and empowering presence is the Lord Jesus Christ himself who was filled with the Spirit and entirely dependent upon His power for the performance of miracles, the preaching of the kingdom of God, and all other dimensions of His earthly ministry.
- The Holy Spirit who indwelt and empowered Christ in like manner indwells and empowers us through spiritual gifts He has bestowed for the work of ministry and the building up of the body of Christ. We recognize that these gifts are divine provisions central to spiritual growth and effective ministry and are to be eagerly desired, faithfully developed, and lovingly exercised according to biblical guidelines.
- (Matthew 3:11; 12:28; Luke 4:1, 14; 5:17; 10:21; John 1:12-13; 3:1-15, 34; 14:12; 15:26-27; 16:7-15; Acts 2:14-21; 4:29-30; 10:38; Romans 8:9; 12:3-8; 1 Corinthians 12:7-13; 12:28-31; 14:1-33; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22; Galatians 3:1-5; Ephesians 1:13-14; 5:18)
4. We are deeply committed to the fundamental spiritual and moral equality of male and female and to men as responsible servant-leaders in the home and church.
- Both men and women are together created in the divine image and are therefore equal before God as persons, possessing the same moral dignity and value, and have equal access to God through faith in Christ. Men and women are together the recipients of spiritual gifts designed to empower them for ministry in the local church and beyond. Therefore, women are to be encouraged, equipped, and empowered to utilise their gifting in ministry, in service to the body of Christ, and through teaching in ways that are consistent with the Word of God.
- Both husbands and wives are responsible to God for spiritual nurture and vitality in the home, but God has given to the man primary responsibility to lead his wife and family in accordance with the servant-leadership and sacrificial love characterized by Jesus Christ. This principle of male headship should not be confused with, nor give any hint of, domineering control. Rather, it is to be the loving, tender and nurturing care of a godly man who is himself under the kind and gentle authority of Jesus Christ.
- The Elders/Pastors of each local church have been granted authority under the headship of Jesus Christ to provide oversight and to teach/preach the Word of God in corporate assembly for the building up of the body. The office of Elder/Pastor is restricted to men.
- (Genesis 1:26-27; 2:18; Acts 18:24-26; 1 Corinthians 11:2-16; Galatians 3:28; Ephesians 5:22-33; Colossians 3:18-19; 1 Timothy 2:11-15; 3:1-7; Titus 2:3-5; 1 Peter 3:1-7)
5. We embrace a missionary understanding of the local church and its role as the primary means by which God chooses to establish His kingdom on earth.
- The church has a clear biblical mandate to look beyond its own community to the neighborhood, the nation, and the world as a whole; thus mission is not an optional program in the church but an essential element in the identity of the church.
- We are called to make Christ known through the Gospel and, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to bring His lordship to bear on every dimension of life.
- The primary way we fulfill this mission is through the planting of churches that plant churches, and the restarting of declining congregations, along with the training of their leaders. Our aim is that Jesus Christ would be more fully formed in each person through the ministry of those churches God enables us to plant and restart in Denver and around the world.
- We also believe we are responsible neither to retreat from our culture nor to conform to it, but with humility, through the Spirit and the truth of the Gospel, to engage it boldly as we seek its transformation and submission to the lordship of Christ.
- (Isaiah 52:7; Matthew 10:5-25; 28:18-20; Luke 4:18-19; 24:46-47; Acts 28:31; Romans 10:14-15; 2 Corinthians 10:4-5; Galatians 2:10; Ephesians 3:10; 4:11-16; 2 Timothy 4:1-5; Hebrews 10:23-25; 1 Peter 2:4-5, 9-10)
Churches that are a part of the CFC share:
Common Family Doctrine
Each Church agrees with and subscribes to the following doctrinal positions, based on our theological alignment with the Southern Baptist Convention and Acts 29 Network. Our church planting pastors go through the process of becoming an official member 3 church, while our replants and adoptions are taken case by case. Pastors and churches are aligned theologically with these two networks, even if they are still moving towards official membership within them.
- The Baptist Faith and Message (2000)
- The Following Five Doctrinal Distinctives:
- Gospel Centrality
- God’s Gracious Sovereignty in Saving Sinners
- The Empowering Presence and Ministry of The Holy Spirit
- Complementarian Relationships in the Church and in the Family
- Missional Disciple-making and Church Planting
Common Family Traits
Each Church is aligned with the characteristics and beliefs of the Calvary Family of Churches:
- Biblical Theology
We are committed to proclaiming, embracing, and living out the full counsel of God’s redemptive message as revealed to us in the Scriptures. While we are intentional about reaching the immediate culture in a relevant way, we are committed to the biblical doctrines of the Christian faith. We do not believe that effective cultural engagement must lead to doctrinal compromise. Rather we believe that faithful Gospel contextualization is what is needed to bring temporal and eternal transformation to individuals, families, churches, and communities.
- Shepherd Leadership
We believe that the biblical pattern and model for pastoral leadership in the church is not that of CEO but of shepherd. Therefore, we are committed to leading people and our community toward health and vitality through humble, caring, biblical shepherd leadership. Because it takes an extended period of time to bring revitalization and transformation to individuals, families, churches, and communities, Calvary pastors and our congregation are committed to each other for the long haul.
- God-centered Worship
Our desire is to become a church where every believer experiences the sovereign grace of the Father, wholeheartedly treasures Jesus, and freely expresses their adoration of God individually and corporately through the power and leading of the Holy Spirit.
- Expositional Preaching
We believe that expositional preaching is important because God’s Word alone is what convicts, converts, builds up, and sanctifies God’s people (Heb. 4:12; 1 Pet. 1:23; 1 Thess. 2:13; Jn. 17:17). Preaching that makes the main point of the text the main point of the sermon makes God’s agenda, and not the preacher’s, rule the church.
- Healthy Families
God has designed the family as the foundation of society and as the primary mechanism to embody and advance His gospel in the world. Therefore, we are committed to encouraging and equipping families to more fully love and honor God, more faithfully love and serve one another, and more intentionally pursue God’s mission in their neighborhood, city, and world.
- Authentic Relationships
The Gospel compels us to love one another because God, who first loved us in Jesus Christ, has given us the ability to love our neighbors as ourselves. Therefore, we are committed to becoming a community marked by Christ-like love and service to one another.
Calvary Church is committed to making disciples and not just converts. Scripture teaches that a live Christian is a growing Christian (2 Pet. 1:8-10), and that we grow not only by instruction but by imitation (1 Cor. 4:16; 11:1). Therefore our churches will exhort our members to grow in holiness and encourage one another to that end.
- Missional Living
Calvary Church is made up of people of all ages who Jesus has saved and sent to be missionaries in the world. Missional Living is the primary means of evangelism within our church. It is not a program we do, but a life we live and the responsibility of every believer. God sends us all out to be His witnesses. We see our webs of relationships as our primary mission field but also desire to respond to God’s call across the globe to participate in the work he is doing.
- Diverse Community
At both the leadership level and within the congregation, Calvary seeks to reflect the makeup of the surrounding community ethnically, economically, and intergenerationally.
Common Family Core Convictions
Each Church will uphold these four elements as essential elements of their ministry:
- Worship God passionately
- Connect with one another authentically
- Grow to know God deeply
- Go show and tell the gospel boldly
Common Family Affiliations
Each Church will maintain the following as active affiliations:
- Acts 29
Calvary Churches are a part the Acts 29 Network. All lead pastors are required to go through the Acts 29 assessment process with the intent of becoming formally affiliated with Acts 29. Our church planting pastors go through the process of becoming an official member church, while our replants and adoptions are taken case by case.
Calvary Churches must be a part of the SBC (Southern Baptist Convention), CBGC (Colorado Baptist General Convention) and the MHBA (Mile High Baptist Association). Our church planting pastors go through the process of becoming an official member church, while our replants and adoptions are taken case by case.
- Calvary Family of Churches
All Calvary Churches are also a part of the Calvary Family of Churches.
Non-CFC Churches can utilize the CFC for:
Consultations & Resources
There are often churches that won’t become an official member of the Calvary Family of Churches, but that we strive to help in various ways. Churches and pastors are welcome to contact us for assistance, consultations and advisory help to see if the CFC can assist them in ministry in any ways. The Calvary Family of Churches also provides many books and resources for churches – contact us to find out how you can get these resources!
The Calvary Family of Churches is an active member of the following networks:
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